IslandWood’s programs open a door to nature, inspiring young people and their families to become more inquisitive, caring, and invested in the future of their communities. Most program participants live in or near Seattle and attend schools that require financial assistance to come to IslandWood. Our graduate program, offered in partnership with the University of Washington, trains aspiring teachers to use the outdoors as a setting to ignite a passion for learning.
Mission Statement
IslandWood’s mission is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship.
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4450 Blakely Ave NE 
Bainbridge Island 
(206) 855-4300 

Ben Klasky 
President & CEO 


IslandWood Programs

School Overnight Program: The residential School Overnight Program provides life-changing experiences in nature for 4th – 6th grade students and their teachers. Throughout the school year, 4,000 elementary students spend four days exploring the natural environment, led by our graduate students. They experience transformative learning adventures that integrate science, technology, and the arts. Our graduate students also perform outreach to schools to help teachers connect classroom lessons to urban environments, enabling students to see that nature is everywhere.

Homewaters: Our urban program brings science to life through field investigations in schoolyards and nearby natural areas. Throughteacher training, planning, and field support, we engage students in hands-on exploration of ecological and neighborhood issues. We build young people’s understanding and awareness of nature and extend their in-class science learning to authentic experiences in the outdoors.

Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center: At the Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center in Woodinville, IslandWood provides experiential School Day Programs for 3rd-8th grade students that supplement classroom curriculum and help students understand the pivotal role people play in our region’s water cycle.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Generous philanthropic contributions have allowed IslandWood to underwrite high-quality programming for tens of thousands of students and teachers over the last decade. Because of our recent expansion through Homewaters and Brightwater, IslandWood has tripled the numbers of children and teachers we serve annually.

However, there is still much work to be done. Throughout our region and across the country, too many children are growing disconnected from the natural world, even as mounting evidence demonstrates the positive impact that time outdoors can have on a child’s education, health, and sense of responsibility to the planet. Our priority now is to ensure IslandWood becomes a critical part of the solution, especially for underserved communities in schools across the country.

IslandWood is currently launching new programs that will dramatically expand the number of kids and teachers we serve, starting in Seattle. The four initiatives outlined in our Blueprint for Growth will deepen IslandWood’s investment in urban communities, train more teachers to connect the classroom to the natural world, drive millions of children and families outside, and spark action on critical issues related to education, the environment, and the health of society.

Early investments from our community will help us ensure that these programs become financially self-sustaining within five years. You can read about IslandWood’s Blueprint for Growth on our website:


IslandWood provides environmental education, locally, regionally and nationally. Its core program is their school programs for 4th, 5th and 6th graders, which serve more than 4,000 local students annually with a focus on youth participants from low-income schools and neighborhoods.

Use of Best Practices
All of IslandWood’s educational activities integrate the use of technology with scientific inquiry and artistic expression in learning experiences as students explore the interconnectedness of natural and cultural communities that inhabit the Puget Sound Region.

IslandWood enhances relationships with schools by establishing and maintaining ongoing support prior to, and after students visit the campus during the four-day residential program.

Islandwood works closely with the University of Washington Graduate Program. The instructors at Islandwood are part of an intensive learning environment that both works to evaluate and improve the experience for youth and their teachers as well as inform the training of the instructors’ graduate work. They work with numerous other public, private, and nonprofit partners in the environmental and education arenas. They have been contracted with King County to deliver environmental education at the Brightwater center in Woodinville.

IslandWood is launching their 10 year strategic plan that will include efforts to increase urban programs to reach youth outside of the IslandWood campus and encourage the organization’s role as a place for thought leaders to convene around solving our regions biggest problems. Islandwood operates with an endowment that supports capital projects and maintenance. They are then able to fundraise for scholarships that support access for low-income kids to their programming.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

3/10/2013 $5,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2012 $7,500.00support general operating expenses.
9/10/2010 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/1/2008 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/5/2006 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.


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